Weekly SEO recap: Panda, Penguin, Mobilegeddon

We’ve decided that we’re going to turn my “somewhat” regular recent posts on changes in the Search and SEO world into a weekly SEO recap. It’ll run on Friday most of the time, so you know when to expect it. This week was absolutely packed with search news, so let’s dive right in.

The Headlines

News from SMX Advanced

This week was the week of SMX Advanced, one of the bigger conferences in the SEO world and usually a place where Google announces some changes. The most important ones:

  • Google is planning a Panda refresh, due in the next 2 to 4 weeks. This could be huge, it could also be small. We’ll have to wait and see.
  • Google is working towards “a continuously running Penguin update“, they didn’t give any timeline for it but they’re planning to make Penguin work all the time, which, in essence, means bad links won’t help you anymore, not even for a shorter period of time. Seems like good news for most people, although some more info on timing would be nice.
  • In a panel about Mobilegeddon, a Google rep said “many webmasters are still making mistakes that are preventing Google from recognizing their content as mobile friendly” (source). Of course we wrote about this months ago, as well as a month before the update, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to regular readers. MarketingLand had another post about Mobilegeddon’s hits and misses. There were mentions of low page speed and the use of app interstitials as negative signals, both are “as expected”: they don’t offer the best user experience.

But that wasn’t even everything.

Local SEO: log in to Google My Business regularly

In a thread on the Google and Your Business forum, Google confirmed that you have to log in to Google My Business regularly to make sure your listing stays active. In this case, “regularly” seems to mean at least every 6 months. Would be a waste if you use our Local SEO plugin to optimize your site and then loose your maps listing due to simply not logging in, so I’d set a calendar reminder for that.

Yahoo! Maps closing down

Yahoo! has announced that they’re killing Yahoo! maps, among other things. While it makes me slightly sad, I did a quick search on the WordPress plugin repository, only to find that there are no actively maintained plugins using the service. Seems Google maps had already killed Yahoo! maps, Yahoo! just had to figure it out for themselves too.

The Analysis

While I didn’t attend SMX Advanced myself, I’ve now read through most of the coverage. There’s basically three things I look at when reading coverage like that:

  1. Is something we tell our clients to do refuted / changed?
  2. Is there something new we should tell our clients to do?
  3. Did Google, Facebook or someone else announce new features we could use in our plugins?

The answer, to all three, was no, with a small exception for the Local bit above. As I’ve said for years, written down in my post on Holistic SEO and have stressed at YoastCon too: you can no longer think of SEO as a collection of tips and tricks. In order to become #1 in the search results, you “simply” have to be the best result.

If you’d like help getting there, we’d love to review your site and tell you how to improve it.

That’s it! See you all next week!
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This post first appeared as Weekly SEO recap: Panda, Penguin, Mobilegeddon on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!